BAYLOR: NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: ANAHEIM
March 28, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Wisconsin – 69
Baylor – 52
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Drew and then questions for the student?athletes.
COACH DREW: I think first and foremost, Wisconsin really played a great game today. Shot 52% from the field, and we did a very poor job in making things tough. First half we held them to 29 points, but they shot 48% and Wisconsin's probably, if not the toughest team to come back, definitely one of the hardest to come back from. We got away from the zone, tried to go man, tried to pressure them up. They're extremely hard to pressure and rattle. That led them to get some easy buckets in the second half.
So defensively, once we got behind, I think we had to do some things we wished we didn't have to do. They really shot it well. Kaminsky was tremendous, six blocks, 19 points. I thought as a coach though very pleased and proud of our seniors. Cory Jefferson's been to two Elite Eights, a Sweet Sixteen, an NIT championship and been a tremendous leader.
Brady and Gary have been to an Elite Eight, a Sweet Sixteen. They've won an NIT championship, and all of them represent the school in a tremendous way and very pleased at their career and very happy to have had a chance to coach them.
Q. Cory, Kaminsky, why was he so good in there, and can you talk about what he did with those blocks?
CORY JEFFERSON: He's just a great player. Offensively he has a good skillset, a 7?footer that can shoot it. He's a multi?movement around the rim, so when you have a seven?footer that does that, that's also hard because if you think you're going to give him the first shot it's easy. So you go try to block it, but he uses another move and finishes pretty well. On the defensive end he affected shots.
Q. Kenny, can you talk about just how difficult it was to shoot from the perimeter? You look at the guards and I think they were a combined 5 for 24, and talk about your missed kind of easies there in the first half?
KENNY CHERY: They did a great job just keeping us off the three. They know we're a great shooting team, and credit to them they did a great job just containing us and making every shot difficult. We missed a lot of easies in the first half, and that's just something that happens.
Q. Guys, is there any explanation for why you guys struggled so much tonight compared to how you played down in San Antonio the last two games?
KENNY CHERY: Not really. We prepared. We went through scouting reports; we watched film on them, and I guess we had easies and we just didn't complete it.
CORY JEFFERSON: Like Kenny said, we missed a lot of the easy shots, shots we normally make. Some were in and out, and some just didn't go at all. Also, defensively we broke down a lot, especially in the first half. They got a lot of things that normally we wouldn't give up, so you've just got to credit them for finding that.
Q. Cory, after playing so well for almost two months as a team, how disappointing is it just to end it like this?
CORY JEFFERSON: It's disappointing, but I wouldn't feel like doing it with any other group of guys. I love this team, and everybody on it seems like my brother. I talk to them every day, and we'll still have that bond for the rest of our life. But as for just being disappointed, there's not too many teams that won't be at the end of the season. Just thanking God that we made it this far. Just being blessed to even experience all of this. But we lost to a great team.
Q. As poorly as you shot, you're down 13 at the half. What was the mindset? Did you all feel like maybe if you could get a good start you could kind of get right back into it?
KENNY CHERY: Definitely. One thing with this team, we never let down. We're going to keep fighting no matter what the score is, up or down. We came out with the mindset we need to be aggressive. We need to play better defensively and just make new adjustments.
Q. Scott, why were they so effective against your zone tonight compared to last time with Creighton?
COACH DREW: Well, I think first and foremost, Kaminsky's ability to finish inside. In the first two games, in the tournament, we made it really tough to finish in there. And he was able to score inside.
So once that happened, then it caved in the defense a little bit, and they really shot the ball well. At the end of the day the one thing that you can't control as a coach is if they go in or out. You can control what kind of shot you get, meaning the selection. But if it goes in or out, you can't. So we had some looks, and if we had made some more, I think it might have put a little more pressure on them. It's easier to play carefree when you get that lead.
We've been playing from the lead for a while now. But his effectiveness inside was something that really hurt us. I thought Hayes same thing. He had 10?6, but he finished very well inside.
Q. Scott, same kind of question I asked Kenny. As badly as you all shot, you're down 13 at half. Like you said, Wisconsin is a hard team to come back from, but did you feel like just get a good start?
COACH DREW: Yeah, definitely thought if we could come out and put a couple stops together. We just never could get consecutive baskets when you're 2 for 15 from three. You needed a couple of them to go in. Again, the toughest thing is trying to pressure those guys because they don't turn it over. They're the best in the country. Now you're forced into rotations and you give them even easier baskets. So our inability to be effective offensively first half with their ability to score inside, again, 29 points. Normally if a team scores 29, you're fine. That's pretty good defense. People would say 58 for the game you're winning the majority of the games.
So I think they did a tremendous job on the defensive end. Kaminsky altered some shots, blocked some shots, and for whatever reason, we didn't finish enough to do what we needed to do.
Q. Scott, can you kind of put into perspective what you guys have been able to accomplish the last four or five weeks after that 2?8 start in conference play?
COACH DREW: Well, I think just really happy for the guys to have success when basically it looked pretty bleak and most of the feedback was negative and the season was over, and they kept together, bonded together. To be able to play as well as they have and come together as well as they have, just happy that they were able to finish on a strong note, especially for the seniors. They've done so much for the program and such class acts. Just really happy for them. No one likes losing the last game; but, again, only one team is going to be happy, and unfortunately, we're not that team.
Q. Coach, I guess after they kind of did pretty well against the zone in the first half and you switched to man sort of at the end of the half, when you came out in the beginning of the second half with a different zone, what was the thinking there?
COACH DREW: I think when Jackson was out of the game, we thought we could pressure him a little bit more in the man. When he's in the game, he's so effective on the ball screen and controlling tempo, hence that's why we went to the zone?? or I mean the man, late in the first half. Then when he started the second half, we kind of went back with the game plan. That's why.
Q. Scott, do you think that this is more about just how good Wisconsin is, or do you think that your guys just didn't have a good game?
COACH DREW: I think probably similar to what Creighton said. We were good that game, and they weren't as good as they needed to be, and same thing with us. I think if we would have made some shots that we've been making, then you don't have to scramble as much on the defensive end, and you don't have to do things you don't like to do or want to do which allows them to get even easier baskets.
At the same time, I think this Wisconsin team, I mean, there is a reason they won against Virginia. There is a reason they won against Florida. I mean, the one thing, they were better on the inside than I had thought they would be. On film I thought they were good, but I thought we'd cause a little more trouble inside, and we didn't do that. So credit Hayes and Kaminsky and those guys for doing a good job on the interior. That really hurt our defense.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
COACH DREW: Thank you.